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The Two-Way
9:57 am
Thu March 21, 2013

United Nations Will Investigate Possible Use Of Chemical Weapons In Syria

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

The United Nations is launching an investigation into the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made the announcement during a media briefing on Thursday.

"I have decided to conduct a United Nations investigation into the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria," Ban said according to Reuters. He said the investigation will focus on "the specific incident brought to my attention by the Syrian government."

The use of chemical weapons is a big deal because the United States has declared that its "red line" in the conflict.

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Thu March 21, 2013

CIA Drone Operations Could Be Handed To Pentagon

A Predator drone taxis in after a sortie over Iraq in 2004.
U.S. Air Force Getty Images

The responsibility for counterterrorism operations involving unmanned drones could soon begin shifting from the CIA to the Pentagon as part of Obama administration efforts to mollify critics who say the program lacks transparency, says NPR's Tom Gjelten.

A senior U.S. official tells NPR that while no decision has been made, the change is a "distinct possibility." The Daily Beast broke the story on Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
8:41 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Applications For Unemployment Benefits Tick Up, But Monthly Average At 5-Year Low

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 10:16 am

There were 336,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, up 2,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

The big news here is that the 4-week moving average was 339,750, a drop from of 7,5000 from last week and the lowest level in 5 years.

Bloomberg reports:

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Gaza Militants Fire Rockets, As Obama Heads To West Bank

President Barack Obama arives for a joint press conference with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas at the Muqataa, the Palestinian Authority headquarters, in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 9:22 am

Militants in Gaza fired rockets into Israel on Thursday, just as President Obama travelled from Israel to the West Bank, where he met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

NPR's Larry Abramson filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Two of the rockets reached the southern town of Sderot, but one fell in an open area. The other caused some damage to a building, according to Israeli police."

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Book News: Is Amazon Building A CIA Cloud?

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveils new Kindle reading devices at a press conference in 2012.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 1:44 pm

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
6:55 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Critics Wait To See How Pope Francis Deals With Sex Abuse Scandal

David Clohessy, the head of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, holds a recent news conference in Rome. Clohessy says the newly installed Pope Francis needs to address the issue of sexual abuse by Catholic priests.
Jonathan Blakley NPR

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 7:05 pm

Pope Francis has now been installed and the world's Catholics are looking to see where he will lead the church. But one man in Rome has been trying to make sure the Vatican also deals with the church's troubled past.

David Clohessy, who says he was a victim of sexual abuse at a young age by a Catholic priest, is the director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. By his count, he held 15 news conferences in Rome in the weeks leading up to the conclave at the Vatican.

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The Two-Way
6:09 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

'Tonight Show' Reportedly Moving To New York In 2014 With Fallon As Host

Jimmy Fallon, right, and Jay Leno at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 6:58 pm

Jimmy Fallon is on track to replace Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show on NBC in 2014, according to unnamed sources in The New York Times and The Hollywood Reporter.

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The Two-Way
4:42 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Sketches From A War-Torn World: A British Illustrator In Syria

Ahmed, 10, was rocketed on Feb. 13., and lost his leg. There doesn't seem anything more mundane than drawing when you are standing next to a child that has lost his mother, his brother and his leg within the last 48 hours His father, Yassar's face, raked with worry sits in a clinic at Bab al Hawa. He keeps pulling his adult sized oxygen mask off his little face.
Courtesy of George Butler

George Butler lives between two worlds. One is his apartment in London, and the other consists of conflict-ravaged places like West Africa, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and Syria.

The British illustrator recently returned from his second trip to Syria, and his reportage illustrations are a powerful account of life in the country's north, where the fighting is heavy and rebels now control many areas.

The illustrations are not just about the sorrows and pain of Syrian refugees and the wounded, but often about Syrians' stubborn insistence that life will carry on despite the pain.

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The Two-Way
4:37 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

VIDEO: 'Dead' Deer Makes Unexpected Getaway

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 6:13 pm

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The Two-Way
3:35 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Scientists: 'No Options' To Stop Massive Asteroids On Collision Course

Actor Bruce Willis on the surface of an asteroid from the movie Armageddon. Lawmakers are questioning the likelihood of the movie's plot becoming reality.
Frank Masi ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 4:40 pm

Without "a few years" warning, humans currently have no capacity to stop an asteroid on a collision course with the planet, scientists told a Senate panel Wednesday.

"Right now we have no options," said former astronaut Ed Lu. "If you dont know where they are, there's nothing you can do."

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The Salt
3:24 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Recipes, Not Rockets: Cookbook Offers New Lens On Gaza

Fatema Qaadan prepares fatta, a meal of buttery rice and griddle bread served with roasted meat.
Courtesy of Laila El-Haddad and Maggie Schmitt

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 9:21 am

When you think about the Gaza Strip, do you think "organic farming"? How about "family dairy"? Would you expect California pistachios to flavor made-in-Gaza baklava? Have you heard that Hamas has a 10-year plan to develop sustainable local agriculture?

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Shots - Health News
3:19 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

How A Patient's Suicide Changed A Doctor's Approach To Guns

Dr. Frank Dumont at his clinic in Estes Park, Colo.
Barry Gutierrez for NPR

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 9:11 am

Dr. Frank Dumont knew one of his favorite patients was getting depressed.

When Dumont first started seeing him in his family practice, the man was in his 70s. He was active and fit; he enjoyed hiking into his 80s. But then things started to change.

"He started complaining of his memory starting to slip," Dumont says. The man would forget where he had placed objects, and he'd struggle to remember simple words and phrases.

Dumont prescribed antidepressants and saw him every eight weeks or so.

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The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

When It Comes To Cyberwarfare, North Korea Is No Newbie

Members of the Korea Internet Security Agency (KISA) check on cyberattacks Wednesday.
Jung Yeon-je AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 2:25 pm

Who or what caused a takedown of computer systems at banks and broadcasters in South Korea on Wednesday is still a matter of speculation, but suspicion immediately and unsurprisingly fell on Seoul's archenemy to the north.

If true, it wouldn't be the first time that North Korea, often regarded as technologically backward, has successfully wielded the computer as weapon.

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The Two-Way
1:58 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

We Have Liftoff: Apollo Rocket Engines Reportedly Pulled From Ocean Floor

Apollo 11 climbs toward orbit after liftoff on July 16, 1969. In 2 1/2 minutes of powered flight, the S-IC booster lifts the vehicle to an altitude of about 39 miles, some 55 miles downrange.
NASA

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 4:41 pm

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Shots - Health News
1:50 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

As Health Law Turns Three, Public Is As Confused As Ever

Couldn't hurt to make a wish for good health!
Ruth Black iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 8:07 am

As the Affordable Care Act nears its third birthday this Saturday, a poll finds the public actually knows less about the law now than when it passed in 2010. Oh, and a lot of what people think they know just isn't so.

Those are the central findings of this month's tracking poll just released by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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